Graceland Cemetery

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Graceland Cemetery
Graceland Cemetery.jpg
Graceland Cemetery is located in Chicago metropolitan area
Graceland Cemetery
Graceland Cemetery is located in Illinois
Graceland Cemetery
Graceland Cemetery is located in the US
Graceland Cemetery
Location 4001 N. Clark Street,[2] Chicago, Illinois
Coordinates 41°57′16.2″N 87°39′44.2″W / 41.954500°N 87.662278°W / 41.954500; -87.662278Coordinates: 41°57′16.2″N 87°39′44.2″W / 41.954500°N 87.662278°W / 41.954500; -87.662278
Area 119 acres (48 ha)
Built 1860
NRHP reference # 00001628[1]
Added to NRHP January 18, 2001

Graceland Cemetery is a large Victorian era cemetery located in the north side community area of Uptown, in the city of Chicago, Illinois, USA. Established in 1860, its main entrance is at the intersection of Clark Street and Irving Park Road. The Sheridan stop on the Red Line is the nearest CTA "L" station. Among the cemetery's 121 acres, are the burial sites of several well-known Chicagoans.[3]

History and geography[edit]

In the 19th century, a train to the north suburbs occupied the eastern edge of the cemetery where the Chicago "L" train now runs. The line was also used to carry mourners to funerals, in specially rented funeral cars, requiring an entry on the east wall, now closed. At that point, the cemetery would have been well outside the city limits of Chicago. After the Great Chicago Fire in 1871, Lincoln Park which had been the city's cemetery, was deconsecrated and some of the bodies moved here. The edge of the pond around Daniel Burnham's burial island was once lined with broken headstones and coping transported from Lincoln Park. Lincoln Park then became a recreational area, with a single mausoleum remaining, the "Couch tomb", containing the remains of Ira Couch.[4] The Couch Tomb is probably the oldest extant structure in the City, everything else having been destroyed by the Great Chicago Fire.[5]

The cemetery is typical of those that reflect Queen Victoria's reconception of the early 19th century "graveyard". Instead of poorly maintained headstones, and bodies buried on top of each other, on an ungenerous parcel of land; the cemetery became a pastoral landscaped park dotted with memorial markers, with room left over for picnics, a common usage of cemeteries. The landscape architecture for Graceland was designed by Ossian Cole Simonds.[6]

The cemetery's walls are topped off with wrought iron spear point fencing.

Notable tombs and monuments[edit]

Many of the cemetery's tombs are of great architectural or artistic interest, including the Getty Tomb, the Martin Ryerson Mausoleum (both designed by architect Louis Sullivan, who is also buried here), and the Schoenhofen Pyramid Mausoleum. The industrialist George Pullman was buried at night, in a lead-lined coffin within an elaborately reinforced steel-and-concrete vault, to prevent his body from being exhumed and desecrated by labor activists.

Along with its other famous burials the cemetery is notable for two statues by sculptor Lorado Taft, Eternal Silence for the Graves family plot and The Crusader that marks Victor Lawson's final resting place. The cemetery is also the final resting place of several victims of the tragic Iroquois Theater fire in which more than 600 people died.

Notable Burials[edit]

The mausoleum of Potter Palmer and Bertha Honoré Palmer
Getty Tomb for Carrie Eliza Getty, designed by Louis Sullivan, 1890

Other cemeteries in the city of Chicago[edit]

Graceland is one of three large 19th century cemeteries which were previously well outside the city limits; the other two being Rosehill (further north), and Oak Woods (South of Hyde Park) which includes a major monument to Confederate civil war dead.

In addition, directly south of Graceland across Irving Park Road is the smaller German Protestant Wunder's Cemetery and Jewish Graceland Cemetery (divided by a fence), established in 1851. Also, the Roman Catholic, Saint Boniface Cemetery (1863), is four blocks north of Graceland at the corner of Clark and Lawrence.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ National Park Service (2010-07-09). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 
  2. ^ "Graceland Cemetery and Arboretum". Retrieved 1 August 2015. 
  3. ^
  4. ^ Dabs. "Chicago Cemeteries". Retrieved 20 April 2010. 
  5. ^ Bannos, Pamela (2012). "The Couch Tomb — Hidden truths: Visualizing the City Cemetery". The Chicago Cemetery & Lincoln Park. Northwestern University. Retrieved November 15, 2012. 
  6. ^ Lanctot, Barbara (1988). A Walk Through Graceland Cemetery. Chicago, Illinois: Chicago Architectural Foundation. p. 2. 
  7. ^ "David Adler". David Adler Center for Music and Arts. 
  8. ^ a b Rosenow, Michael (2015). Death and Dying in the Working Class, 1865-1920. University of Illinois Press. p. 49. Retrieved September 29, 2017. 
  9. ^ Spencer, Thomas E. (1998). Where They're Buried: A Directory Containing More Than Twenty Thousand Names of Notable Persons Buried in American Cemeteries, with Listings of Many Prominent People who Were Cremated. Genealogical Publishing Com. p. 4. Retrieved 4 August 2017. 
  10. ^ FOX. "'Mr. Cub' Ernie Banks laid to rest at Graceland Cemetery". Retrieved November 7, 2016. 
  11. ^ "Brentano, Lorenzo,(1813-1891)". 
  12. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "The Cemetery of Architects". Graceland Cemetery and Arboretum. 
  13. ^ "Mayor Fred A. Busse Biography". Chicago Public Library. Chicago Public Library. Retrieved September 29, 2017. 
  14. ^ "Mrs. Lydia A. Coonley Ward, Author, Dies". Democrat and Chronicle. 1924-02-27. p. 1. Retrieved 2017-11-30 – via 
  15. ^ "J.J. Esher, Long a Bishop, Dead". Chicago Tribune. April 16, 1901. Retrieved September 25, 2017. 
  16. ^ a b c "Monuments and their Makers". Graceland Cemetery and Arboretum. 
  17. ^ Wilson, Scott (2016). Resting Places: The Burial Sites of More Than 14,000 Famous Persons, 3d ed. McFarland. p. 245. Retrieved September 29, 2017. 
  18. ^ Zangs, Mary (2014). The Chicago 77: A Community Area Handbook. Arcadia Publishing. Retrieved September 29, 2017. 
  19. ^ "Mayor Carter Henry Harrison III Biography". Chicago Public Library. Chicago Public Library. Retrieved September 9, 2017. 
  20. ^ "Mayor Carter Henry Harrison IV Biography". Chicago Public Library. Chicago Public Library. Retrieved September 9, 2017. 
  21. ^ "Hitchcock, Herbert Emery,(1867-1958)". 
  22. ^ AIA Guide to Chicago. University of Illinois Press. May 15, 2014. p. 234. ISBN 0252096134. 
  23. ^ Kelder, Robert (January 25, 2005). "Visitors drawn to Jack Johnson's Grave". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved September 29, 2017. 
  24. ^ Matt Hucke and Ursula Bielski. Graveyards of Chicago. Lake Claremont Press, 1999. 21.
  25. ^ "Maryland Mathison Hooper McCormick (1897–1985)". Cantigny. Retrieved on June 23, 2012.
  26. ^ "Mayor Joseph Medill Biography". Chicago Public Library. Chicago Public Library. Retrieved September 29, 2017. 
  27. ^ "Allan Pinkerton". National Park Service. 
  28. ^ Lanctot, Barbara (1988). A Walk Through Graceland Cemetery. Chicago: Chicago Architectural Foundation. pp. 14–15. 
  29. ^ Guyer, Isaac D. (1862). History of Chicago – Its Commercial and Manufacturing Interests and Industry. Chicago: Church, Goodman & Cushing, Book and Job Printers. pp. 96–7. 
  30. ^ "$1,000,000 Is Left for Old Folks' Home". Chicago Daily Tribune: 17. March 8, 1923. 
  31. ^ Lanctot. Barbara, ‘’A Walk Through Graceland Cemetery: A Chicago Architecture Foundation Walking Tour’’, A Chicago Architecture Foundation Walking Tour, Chicago, IL, 1992 p. 30
  32. ^ "American Lumbermen, Chicago, IL 1906 p. 145". 
  33. ^ "Chicago's Mansions, Chicago, IL 2004". 

Further reading[edit]

  • Hucke, Matt and Bielski, Ursula (1999) Graveyards of Chicago: the people, history, art, and lore of Cook County Cemeteries, Lake Claremont Press, Chicago
  • Kiefer, Charles D., Achilles, Rolf, and Vogel, Neil A. "Graceland Cemetery" (pdf), National Register of Historic Places Registration Form, HAARGIS Database, Illinois Historic Preservation Agency, June 18, 2000, accessed October 8, 2011.
  • Lanctot, Barbara (1988) A Walk Through Graceland Cemetery, Chicago Architectural Foundation, Chicago, Illinois
  • Vernon, Christopher (2012) Graceland Cemetery: A Design History, University of Massachusetts Press

External links[edit]